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The Newhaven Heritage Centre is recognised as a Scottish registered charity No SC044837.

Inspired by the past to build a better future together


about us





STRAVAIG  v. — to roam, wander (about), travel through, etc     Scots Language Centre


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The Newhaven Heritage Centre (NHC) is a Scottish charitable Organisation (SCIO) — the direct successor of the Newhaven Action Group (NAG) which was set up in 2009 to try to restore the pre-existing Newhaven Community Museum. This had been closed because of council financial constraints.

Lots of people miss the old museum, and have said so.  Visitors go looking for it and Newhaveners wish it was still there.  At its peak it attracted over 30,000 people a year.

We wanted to resurrect the museum — not just because of its popularity but because it held the essence of what Newhaven was as a community.

People cared for and about each other in “Old” Newhaven. They shared, and supported each other through, adversity.  Fishing was the mainstay occupation for most of its existence and has always been dangerous and hard work.  A Society of Free Fishermen was established early in the sixteenth century which looked after the interests of its members and provided for the welfare of widows and children and the poor.  It kept a distinct village identity secure over six hundred years at least. And we want to make sure this continues for it’s good to be part of a caring community.

You can only do this if you know about the lives of your forebears and one of our aims is to preserve and tell people about Newhaven’s story.  Knowing about the past of your community helps to anchor it in your mind and keep you part of it.  We see ourselves as nourishing the roots of belonging to Newhaven as a community.

Our biggest problem over the years has been the lack of a place in Newhaven in which the Heritage centre could be based.  We’ve tried over the years to get one but without success.  But in 2017 we learned that Victoria Primary school was to move “over the water” to a site on reclaimed land in the Western Harbour.  This raised the idea that the vacated building could be transferred into community ownership as a resource for the people of Newhaven.  We explored this policy in depth and recognised it was a major project.  It needed substantial community involvement and recruitment of a committed team with a wide range of abilities to make it happen — more than we had in our committee.  We organised public meetings to involve local people.  As a result a spin-off committee, the “Heart of Newhaven” Project has been set up to try to acquire the school as a community asset transfer to act as a community hub.  We are happy to support their efforts and would look to have a Heritage Centre on part of the site. The surveys conducted to see what people wanted in the school always showed a Heritage/museum centre at the top of the wish list.

Not having a physical base has not stopped us contributing to the culture and improving the Newhaven environment.  A list of the activities we’ve been involved in recent years is to be found on the Community page and we continue to take forward specific projects.  We have a continuing commitment to improving the local physical environment but our priority continues to be the specification and planning of a Heritage Centre worthy of the community of Newhaven.

Donations to the Newhaven Heritage Centre, a Scottish registered charity, contribute to the fund to create a Heritage Centre and the protection and preservation of the village’s unique history.

Thank you for your support and generosity.

Become a Friend of Newhaven Heritage

Finally, you may to consider becoming a Friend of Newhaven Heritage for FREE! You will receive a quarterly web-based newsletter, “The Bow-Tow”, with updates as well as advance notice of events.  

You can join by emailing archivist@newhavenonforth.org.uk using the subject title “Newsletter” and supplying your postcode. Your name and contact details will never be passed on to any third party and you may unsubscribe at any time.

We are grateful for your support.

By pressing this “Donate” button, a new page in PayPal’s secure website will open.  

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